Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .




SUPERPOWERS
Nobel winners praise Cape Town mayor for Dalai Lama stand
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) Dec 11, 2014


No Pope meeting for Dalai Lama as Vatican eyes China ties
Vatican City (AFP) Dec 11, 2014 - Pope Francis will not meet the Dalai Lama when the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader visits Rome this weekend, a Vatican spokesman said Thursday -- a decision apparently seeking to avoid upsetting China.

The Dalai Lama arrives in the Italian capital Friday for three days to attend a meeting with other Nobel peace laureates. The event was moved to Italy from South Africa after the Pretoria government, anxious to foster economic ties with Beijing, declined to issue a visa for the 79-year-old Buddhist leader.

Sources said the Vatican decision to sidestep an opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama reflects concern over what would inevitably be a furious Chinese reaction, and a desire not to jeopordize efforts to build bridges with Beijing or risk retaliation against the country's small Catholic community.

"Pope Francis obviously holds the Dalai Lama in very high regard but he will not be meeting any of the Nobel laureates," the Vatican spokesman said, adding that the pontiff would be sending a video message to their conference.

It is now more than eight years since the Dalai Lama was last granted a papal audience by Francis's predecessor Benoit XVI in October 2006.

Critics of the pacifying approach say it is at odds with the the pope's emphasis on interfaith dialogue. Relations with Buddhism are expected to be a central theme of Francis's visit to Sri Lanka next month.

The Vatican has not had diplomatic relations with China since they were broken off by Mao in 1951.

On a visit to South Korea in August, the pope called for a normalisation of relations, but insisted that could only happen if China's Catholics are accorded the right to exercise their religion freely, and when the Vatican is allowed to appoint bishops in the world's most populous country.

On his way back from Korea, Francis said he would visit China as soon as the Church was allowed to do its job there.

Researchers say there are about 12 million practising Catholics in China, half of whom attend services under the auspices of a state-controlled association. The other half are involved in clandestine churches which swear allegiance to the Vatican.

Nobel peace prize winners on Thursday showered praise on Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille for contesting President Jacob Zuma's refusal to grant the Dalai Lama an entry visa to South Africa.

Zuma's stance on the visa issue, aimed at maintaining good relations with China, led to a planned summit of Nobel winners in Cape Town being relocated to Rome, a move that de Lille supported despite her city's loss of a prestigious event that was supposed to mark the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela's death.

"To deny the Dalai Lama a visa is the kind of thing that happened in the oppressive years of apartheid when people were not allowed to freely enter our country," de Lille said at a press conference ahead of the rescheduled meeting, which is being held from Friday to Sunday in the Italian capital.

She said she hoped that Cape Town would eventually get the chance to host the event.

"One day the government will realise that it can't stop the movement for peace around the world."

Northern Ireland peace campaigner Mairead Maguire, who jointly won the 1976 peace prize, was among several laureates to laud de Lille's action.

"We all agreed that we could not go ahead with the conference in South Africa in the circumstances, and the courage of the mayoress in standing by that decision is very, very inspiring," Maguire said.

Tawakkol Karman, the Yemeni women's rights activist who won the Nobel in 2011, joked: "I am sure that we will do it again in Cape Town ... when she is the president of South Africa!"

Landmines campaigner Jody Williams, the 1997 winner, added: "It was very disturbing for all of us. We hoped to be able to celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela and it didn't work out for political reasons which is very tragic.

"But I want to praise the mayor for the courage she showed in standing up to her own government and for backing our decision to take the summit out of her beautiful city."

- No Pope meet -

Speaking to AFP, Williams revealed that Rome mayor Ignazio Marino had been visited by Chinese officials and warned there would be consequences for the decision to step into the breach created by the South African visa decision.

Earlier in the day, a spokesman for Pope Francis confirmed that the pontiff would not be meeting the Dalai Lama during his time in Rome.

Sources said the Vatican decision to sidestep an opportunity to meet the 79-year-old Buddhist leader reflects concern over what would inevitably be a furious Chinese reaction, and a desire not to jeopordize efforts to build bridges with Beijing or risk retaliation against the country's small Catholic community.

"Pope Francis obviously holds the Dalai Lama in very high regard but he will not be meeting any of the Nobel laureates," the Vatican spokesman said, adding that the pontiff would be sending a video message to their conference.

It is now more than eight years since the Dalai Lama was last granted a papal audience by Francis's predecessor Benoit XVI in October 2006.

Critics say the apparent reluctance to meet the Tibetan leader is at odds with the pope's emphasis on interfaith dialogue. Relations with Buddhism are expected to be a central theme of Francis's visit to Sri Lanka next month.

"If the pope is avoiding his Holiness then I would find that very, very upsetting, especially from this pope," Williams said.

The Vatican has not had diplomatic relations with China since they were broken off by Mao in 1951.

On a visit to South Korea in August, the pope called for a normalisation of relations, but insisted that could only happen if China's Catholics are accorded the right to exercise their religion freely, and when the Vatican is allowed to appoint bishops in the world's most populous country.

Researchers say there are about 12 million practising Catholics in China, half of whom attend services under the auspices of a state-controlled association. The other half are involved in clandestine churches which swear allegiance to the Vatican.

Fidel Castro wins China's 'Confucius Peace Prize'
Beijing (AFP) Dec 11, 2014 - Fidel Castro has been awarded China's version of the Nobel Peace Prize, reports said Thursday, with a paper close to the ruling Communist Party hailing the former Cuban leader's "important contributions" to world peace.

Castro bested more than 20 nominees including South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional group led by Moscow and Beijing, to win this year's "Confucius Peace Prize", the state-run Global Times reported.

The Cuban revolutionary icon was selected by nine judges out of a group of 16 experts and scholars, the paper said.

The shadowy Confucius prize emerged in 2010, when it was suddenly announced by the panel two days before jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel to Beijing's anger, sparking speculation it was set up with the government's guidance.

A Cuban exchange student received this year's award on Castro's behalf at a ceremony on Tuesday, one day before Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi accepted their Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

"While in office, Castro didn't resort to violence or force to settle disputes in international relations, especially with the United States," the Global Times wrote.

"After his retirement, he has been actively meeting with leaders and groups from all over the world and has made important contributions to emphasising the need to eliminate nuclear war," it added.

Since leaving office in 2006 during a nearly fatal health crisis, Castro, 88, has spent his free time writing books and articles for the official press in Cuba, which now is led by his younger brother Raul.

In 2010, the first Confucius Peace Prize winner was awarded to Taiwan's Lien Chan at a chaotic press conference, although the former vice president's office denied all knowledge of it.

Organisers of the prize denied links to the government, but the award's executive chairman Liu Haofeng told AFP later that it had been set up by an association overseen by China's culture ministry.

In a move that added to the confusion surrounding the prize, the following year the ministry ordered organisers to scrap it, but the academics pressed ahead with their plans and gave it to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping shared the award in 2012, and Yi Cheng, a Zen master who is the honorary head of the Buddhist Association of China, was awarded it last year.

China's foreign ministry on Thursday denied any government connection to the prize.

The award was "organised by a civil organisation in China, which showcases their aspirations for world peace", spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular briefing.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SUPERPOWERS
China ex-security chief's fall cements Xi's grip on power
Beijing (AFP) Dec 06, 2014
The Chinese Communist Party's decision to arrest and expel former security chief Zhou Yongkang is a bold step that demonstrates President Xi Jinping's determination to consolidate power "to a degree unseen" in decades, observers said Saturday. Zhou - who retired from China's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) in 2012 - has been placed under a judicial probe for a barrage of ch ... read more


SUPERPOWERS
Chinese Hypersonic Strike Vehicle May Overcome US Missile Defense: Expert

Raytheon building air and missile defense center for Qatar

India test fires nuclear capable strategic missile

Ballistic Missile Launches Detected by Russia's Aerospace Defense

SUPERPOWERS
40,000th Javelin ant-armor missile produced

Taiwan develops new missiles to counter China's threat

RAF launches Paveway guided bombs from Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35

Brazil, Russia in talks on air defense system

SUPERPOWERS
Amazon warns it could take drones testing elsewhere

NGC delivers first operational MQ-8C Fire Scout to the US Navy

France studies how to intercept mystery drones over nuclear plants

Sagem demos drone for use in civilian airspace

SUPERPOWERS
LockMart completes environmental testing on 4th MUOS bird

Harris Corporation supplying Falcon III radios to Canadian military

GenDyn Canada contracted to connect military to WGS system

Northrop Grumman continues Joint STARS sustainment services

SUPERPOWERS
Dutch sell combat vehicles to Estonia for 100 mln euros

BAE Systems modernizess 100th M113 for Brazil

Precision guided projectile hits the mark in recent testing

Air Force orders additional programmable bomb fuzes

SUPERPOWERS
New Pentagon chief inherits friction with White House

Northrop Grumman expands operations in Australia

US House passes $584 bn defense bill, Senate vote due

Raytheon to provide Qatar with IAMD Command and Control System

SUPERPOWERS
Nobel winners praise Cape Town mayor for Dalai Lama stand

China angles for Central America influence in US 'backyard'

War-torn Ukraine to test sweeping new ceasefire

Putin, Hollande in surprise Ukraine talks amid warship controversy

SUPERPOWERS
'Giant' charge density disturbances discovered in nanomaterials

LLNL team develops efficient method to produce nanoporous metals

Thin film produces new chemistry in 'nanoreactor'

Ultra-short X-ray pulses explore the nano world




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.